Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CIS Top Ten (#1): Varsity Reds Open Season Ranked 2nd In Country

OTTAWA (CIS) – The Alberta Golden Bears top the first CIS men’s hockey national rankings of the 2013-14 season, while the reigning University Cup champion New Brunswick Varsity Reds were a very close second in the inaugural media poll.  

Alberta received nine out of a possible 17 first-place votes and 162 points from the selection committee, compared to eight first-place nods and 160 points for UNB, which captured its fourth CIS title in seven years last winter. The Golden Bears had last opened the campaign at No. 1 in 2010-11.

Rounding out the first Top 10 of the fall are the No. 3 Western Mustangs (86 points), No. 4 Calgary Dinos (80), No. 5 Waterloo Warriors (70), No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies (68), No. 7 UPEI Panthers (60), No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies (56), No. 9 Carleton Ravens (54) and No. 10 UQTR Patriotes (46).

The regular season got under way this past weekend with six games in Canada West and two in the OUA.

Alberta (2-0), Calgary (2-0) and Saskatchewan (1-1) were all in action out West. The defending conference champ Bears blanked Manitoba 5-0 and 4-0. The Dinos swept Regina 5-2 and 4-1. The Huskies settled for a split against Mount Royal, winning 5-2 before dropping a 5-1 decision.

Alberta shows an impressive 11 wins in 13 outings so far in ‘13-14, including a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers rookies on Sept. 10. The Bears’ two pre-season losses came against archrival Calgary, which they also beat twice in non-conference action.

With back-to-back whitewashes last weekend, senior U of A netminder Kurtis Mucha, who was named CIS goalie of the year last season, extended his shutout streak in league play to a Canada West record 214 minutes and 20 seconds going back to last winter. The CIS mark of 292:39 was set in 2008-09 by Travis Fullerton of UNB.

Alberta plays a home-and-away series against Mount Royal Friday and Saturday.

In the AUS conference, the regular schedule only starts two weekends from now, including University Cup champion UNB hosting StFX on Oct. 18 and eighth-ranked Saint Mary’s the following night. The V-Reds downed the Huskies 2-0 in last year’s CIS championship final.
UNB won five of its seven pre-season contests, including a perfect 4-0 mark against CIS competition.

NOTES: Laurentian returns to CIS men’s hockey this season after a 13-year hiatus. The Voyageurs open their OUA schedule at York on Thursday... The University of Saskatchewan will host the PotashCorp University Cup tournament for the second straight year from March 20-23. The tourney will once again be held at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#1)

Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men’s Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes)
1. Alberta (2-0-0) / 162 points (9)
2. UNB (0-0-0) / 160 (8)
3. Western (0-0-0) / 86
4. Calgary (2-0-0) / 80
5. Waterloo (0-0-0) / 70
6. Saskatchewan (1-1-0) / 68
7. UPEI (0-0-0) / 60
8. Saint Mary’s (0-0-0) / 56
9. Carleton (0-0-0) / 54
10. UQTR (0-0-0) / 46

Other teams receiving votes: StFX (32), McGill (19), Brock (15), Windsor (8), Ottawa (7), Manitoba (4), Queen’s (4), York (2), Acadia (1), Dalhousie (1).

-CIS-